WHAT I HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY ABOUT OREGON MEDICAL CARE
Is OHSU degrading the quality and increasing the costs of Oregon Medical Care? Is OHSU harvesting Oregon citizens the way Logging Companies harvest trees? Fact is, it will take more than money to fix the American Health Care System, and Oregon Medical Care serves as a perfect example as to why. Here are some things I have learned that I thought I might share with you all.
1. Oregon laws to not protect patients from what is called ghost surgeries, where the person you thought you consented to performing the surgery is not performing the surgery at all, but other persons to whom you have never been introduced actually perform that surgery, colonoscopy, or any procedure under sedation. OHSU has contracts with Major Hospitals in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, (including Three Rivers, Sacred Heart, the PDX VAMC, to allow teams of their medical students, interns, and residents perform these procedures without the patients INFORMED CONSENT. Often patients are asked to sign forms after they have been given anesthesia. OHSU plays it particularly fast and loose with Veterans and Medicaid patients as they have little to no means to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit.
2. While OHSU claims to teach pelvic exams on standardized patients, (highly paid professionals), sedated surgical patients are subjected to gangs of students performing intimate (vaginal, breast, and rectal) exams prior to surgery. Patients often suffer infections, harmful mistakes, excessive bruising and bleeding, dangerous consequences from prolonged anesthesia and other consequences of multiple non-consensual, non-medical necessary for the patient, exams and procedures.
3. If a patent sets limitations or restrictions on student, trainee involvement in a procedure under sedation, once sedated those limitations and restrictions will NOT be respected.
4. Doctors are trained to lie about these ghost procedures, practice exams, and more. Some are better liars than others are, but the surgeons seem to have the best poker faces. You will be lied to before and after the procedure, and this is the reason family members will be objected to in the theater. It has nothing to do with limiting infection. Hell, there are already 10-20 people in there that are not necessary for your care.
5. Of course, medical students need to be trained. However, patients have rights to autonomy that should be respected, even if sedated. Research has shown that informed patients tend to be generous, but not without limits. There generosity experts say is sufficient; but doctors do not respect their patients enough to take the time to inform and ask for consent.
6. It has been reported many times that patients dignity and privacy are not respected once sedated. Not only are patients striped and positioned for multiple student exams prior to surgery, but one nurse reported even seeing male janitors cleaning up around undraped female surgical patients at OHSU. Not only janitors, but also equipment sales reps may be invited into your surgery.
7. Your procedure will likely be filmed and while you will not be given access to view these tapes, thousands of others will. While there may or may not be a clause on the consent form regarding such tapings for educational reasons, again you are often asked to sign consent forms after being given mind altering drugs and in no position to even read the consent form. They will not read you this part of the form.
8. A culture of disrespect is established. In an environment where patient's autonomy and dignity are not respected once under sedation; in an environment where consent is gained by manipulation, drugging, lies and misleading information, in an environment where patient privacy and dignity are not respected, in such an environment, women will be raped.
9. Women are raped under anesthesia and never know. In this culture of disrespect men are taught how, provided the tools, and afforded the opportunity to rape women and get away with it; to rape women under sedation or the same type of memory wiping (conscious sedation) drugs that date rapists employ. While you are told two people are present at all time while you are under sedation, this is simply often not the case. Doctors, nurses, students, techs, even janitors have isolated access to sedated patients. As a result of OHSU, insufficient state laws to protect patients (largely due to OHSU's political/economic power), women are more likely to be sexually assaulted under anesthesia in Oregon than in 42 other states.
10. If you request an ALL female staff for your procedure under anesthesia in an effort to protect yourself, your request will NOT be respected. Two or three women may get together just prior to sedation and do a little song and dance about an "all female team", how unusual or rare that is, and how it will be like a slumber party, or some such: ALL LIES. Once sedated men will be all over you, involved in prep, practice exams, observation, and the procedure itself.
11. The only protection you have is to demand change, a change in the law, and a change in practice. Law itself, will not change the practice. In California where "practice exams" have been banned, the large teaching facilities have failed to comply.
12. Demand that a family member be by your side through it all, sedation, prep, procedure, and post op. Insist on a law giving patients this right.
13. Patients suffer pelvic infections from as many as a dozen pelvic exams prior to surgery, infections risks increase with prolonged anesthesia, patients risks of infection increase as teams of trainees and distracted faculty more focused on teaching that the patient Patients get involved rather than just the necessary parishioners, but worst of all patients, (often elderly patients who have been in monogamous relationships for decades) have been infected with STDS, infections their life partners do not share. Doctors try to convince these patients they could have had these infections for decades, never suffered a symptom, and never infected their partners. Statistical odds are higher they were raped while under anesthesia.
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